Policy Human Resources Visiting Appointments

Visiting Appointments

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NOTE: This policy is under review. Please contact Manager Recruitment, Kristin Perry - kristin.perry@jcu.edu.au for current information relating to visiting appointments.


To provide guidelines for the appointment of Visiting Scholars.

Policy and Procedures

Visiting appointments provide a mechanism for recognising, in a formal way, time spent at the University by scholars from other institutions, both from within Australia and overseas. Most commonly the appointments will involve individuals undertaking a special studies program (or its equivalent) at James Cook University or visiting the University to provide short-term expert input to teaching or research.

Research and consulting activities carried out under the auspices of the University will generally be governed by the same rules as apply to full-time academic staff, except that ownership of intellectual property will be negotiated on a case by case basis in keeping with the principles of the University's Intellectual Property policy.

1. Designations/Title

For the purpose of this Policy, all visiting staff will be designated 'Visiting Scholars'. Visiting Scholars will retain their formal title, for example if their title is 'Professor' at their home university, they will retain the title 'Professor'.

Visiting appointments that do not attract remuneration will be prefixed with the title 'Honorary'. It is incumbent on the Head of School to ensure that the proposed visitor is suitable for appointment.

2. Period of Appointment

Appointment will be for the duration of the visit. This will normally be for periods of up to 12 months with provision for extension.

3. Access to Facilities

While appointment confers no obligation on the University to provide resources, appointees may be granted access to school and service facilities as deemed appropriate by the Head of School.

4. Remuneration/Expenses

While visiting appointments are largely honorary and place no obligation on the University to provide salary or expenses, on occasions, it may be appropriate to make such payments, particularly if it is proposed that the visitor will make a substantial contribution to teaching or research. The Head of School will determine whether remuneration is appropriate on a case to case basis. In such cases it is important that arrangements be finalised well in advance of the visitor's arrival. This is particularly important for overseas visitors as it has a direct bearing on the type of visa that will be required.

Remuneration may be paid in the form of salary at an appropriate rate or may, in whole or part, be applied to meet the cost of or reimburse travel and subsistence expenses (University subsistence rates or pro rata to apply) necessarily incurred as a consequence of the appointment. Documentary evidence of expenditure must be maintained by the appointee. Payment of some expenses may attract a Fringe Benefits Tax, for example car hire. Schools should seek advice from the Resources Office before making any commitments. It should also be noted that salary payments would attract on costs which need to be budgeted.

Salary payments will be made through the payroll system with a commencement of duty form and employment declaration form to be provided to the Salaries Section. Appropriate income tax will be deducted. Expenses will be paid on submission of an appropriately authorised supporting payment request to the Expenditure Section with relevant documentation attached.

5. Income Tax and Overseas Residents

Australia has reciprocal tax agreements with a number of countries which enable citizens of those countries to apply for tax exemption while earning income in Australia. Agreements and requirements vary from country to country and are not blanket agreements but are subject to individual application and assessment. Arrangements therefore need to be finalised before the Visiting Scholar's arrival. The Visiting Scholar is responsible for obtaining exemption from the Australian Taxation Office. Further details are available from the Australian Taxation Office.

Visitors from countries with which Australian does not have a reciprocal tax agreement will be taxed as a non-resident. Special cases may be accepted by the Australian Taxation Office for resident status to enable the employee to claim the general exemption. The Australian Taxation Office's decision is based on maintenance of a fixed address for the duration of the visit.

6. Immigration Issues

Visitors from overseas will require a visa appropriate to the activities to be undertaken. Generally these fall into two categories as outlined below:

6.1 Visiting Academic Class 419

This class of visa is appropriate for visitors who will not be receiving a salary, scholarship or other form of remuneration payable in Australia (living expenses and travel costs may be paid) and whose activities will be limited to participation in or observation of research projects.

Teaching may only be undertaken on an ad hoc informal basis on topics directly associated with the Visiting Scholar's research activities.

6.2 Temporary Resident 457 Visa

Temporary residence visas permit paid employment for periods of up to four years and are appropriate for visiting appointments where the Visiting Scholar will be required to undertake a range of duties in return for a salary.

6.3 Visa Sponsorship

In order to obtain a 419 or 457 visa the Visiting Scholar will require an appointment letter and formal University sponsorship for which the Department of Immigration and Citizenship charge an administrative fee. The cost of the fee is to be met by the relevant School. Applying for and gaining a visa can take several months. It is therefore essential that arrangements for visits be planned well in advance.

7. Insurance

7.1 General Insurance Cover

Visiting Scholar's who are paid a salary by the University will be covered by WorkCover.

Unpaid visitors or visitors who received non-salary allowances will be covered by the University's public liability policy. Schools are requested to register details of such visiting appointments with the Financial and Business Services Office.

7.2 Health Insurance Cover

Visiting staff are not eligible for Medicare benefits, unless from a country with reciprocal arrangements. The Head of School is to ensure that the visitor has made appropriate health insurance arrangements. In the case of Class 457 visa holders where reciprocal arrangements are not available, the School will be required to meet the cost of private health insurance. Please refer to the Recruitment Manager for details.

8. Induction and Orientation

It is the responsibility of the School hosting the visit to provide all reasonable assistance in facilitating the smooth transition of the visitor to life in Townsville.

Subject to the availability of funding, this may include the engagement of a relocations agent, details of which can be obtained from the Human Resources Office.

While designed primarily for students, some useful background information can also be found at the Happy Landing web link.

9. Procedure

Proposals for visiting appointments are to be made on the Visiting Scholar Proposal HR58C form through the Head of School to the appropriate Pro-Vice-Chancellor. An appointment letter, for the PVC's signature is to be prepared by the Faculty Office.

A copy of the signed appointment letter for international Visiting Scholars is to be forwarded to the International Student Centre.

Approval Details

Policy sponsor:

Deputy Vice Chancellor, Services and Resources

Approval authority:

Human Resources Committee

Approval date:


Version no:


Date for next review:


Modification History


Revision date

Description of changes




Policy sponsor and approval authority amended to reflect approved policy framework

Quality, Standards and Policy

Version no.

Approval date

Date notification sent by Approval Authority to University Secretary

Implementation date









19 January 2010

Update policy to reflect legislative changes (section 6 and 7.2)